Chapter 78: Reading


Translator: Haruchin   Editor: Marky


I finally finished the book about this library. The letters were big and it wasn’t that thick, so it was an easy read, but each chapter had beautiful gold-leaf decorations that captivated me. Some of the patterns looked like they were embossed because they were raised using glue. The golden leaves made it look like a big chunk of gold, and the azurite and lapis lazuli’s shade of blue were so beautiful.

No, no, I should look for books about spirits. The general classification of this library is pretty much written inside the library overview book. The wide corridors divide the shelves according to the general topics, and the narrow aisles in between the bookshelves divide them according to more specific categories.

The majority of the books have spirits dwelling within them, but most of the spirits — including those that live inside the books from the get go and those who possess the book later on — don’t move that much and they prefer silence, although for some, it is not just a matter of preference. It’s just that time moves slower than normal for them. Regardless, it is basically quiet here.

‘Noisy’ books, on the other hand, are isolated in a separate room. Adventure stories and some magic books are possessed by energetic spirits brimming with lively motivation. They love to chatter away, and some also restlessly move around with thuds and bangs. Categorization was thoroughly ignored for these books and they are lumped all together inside a different room.

Thus, the only sound echoing through the silent space came from my footsteps.

Capturing spirits not by force but by some other method — that’s what I want to look for, but then, maybe it’ll be a good idea to start with books about spirits? If I don’t know anything about them, I won’t be able to distinguish whether the method is right or wrong, just like what happened the previous time I tried to do it.

I chose a relatively old book and one that looked quite new. I also took one of the books with several copies, as well as a book that was one-of-its-kind..

Maybe the old book contains information that is close to the essence of the spirits. There is a possibility that the new one contains a plethora of information that will make the thought process of the researchers from the past easier to understand. Those with several copies might mean that the things written in them are common knowledge, while the one-of-its-kind could contain either heresy or precious information.

If something I read bothers me, I can look that up by choosing other books related to that particular book. And so, I returned to the small room with four books in my arms.

Drinks are allowed here, so let’s have some coffee. Hmm, I only have a cup meant for camping outdoors that is pretty much useless for other things. This is really unlucky, but it can’t be helped. Aright, let’s bring an elegant teacup next time.

The small room is filled with the scent of coffee.

Here we go. The first book is bound beautifully in dark brown and gold, with uniformly shaved parchment leaves. The tawny ink is faded, and the white undercoat is slightly peeling off — I’m quietly getting excited over this.

Among the spirits, the light and darkness spirits have the highest probability of being born These two attributes also easily fuse with the other attributes. The purity of the spirit increases if it doesn’t fuse with other attributes, but then, the longer they exist, the higher the chances they have of merging. Thus, the powerful spirits are mostly those with mixed attributes, in the end.

Earth, Water, Fire and Wind are called the Four Elements, but there seems to be a slight distinction between Light and Darkness. These two attributes are always born in pairs, apparently, but their difference also lies in the amount of spirits per attribute that are available in this world. That’s because on top of their ability to easily mix with other attributes, humans can also consume them unwittingly.

Light, Fire and Earth are the ones who respond the easiest to the summons of humans — blah, blah, blah. There is a lot of complicated stuff written here, but then, the info properly entered my mind, as expected of a book possessed by a spirit.

The parchment also varies depending on its use. The ones gilded with gold are smooth, while those with a lot of pictures are a little rough, maybe so it would be easier to apply the paint, and it would stick on to the paper. There is also a book with a velvety feel, so one could enjoy the contents together with the texture.

By the way, the term ‘Ruf’s people’ occasionally popped up in the ancient-looking book, and it was also mentioned once in the new book. According to the old book, they were people connected to the spirits, while the new book said that they were descendants of the spirits. But then, how is that even possible when the spirits are still active to this day?

Well, that wasn’t what bothered me, but the phrase “the Heroes possessed abilities that are equal to Ruf’s.” I had a feeling that I should research more about this Ruf.

I returned the book that I finished, then borrowed a new one. There is no distinction between day and night inside this room, and no outside noise shattered the silence here. Being able to read the books while forgetting the time is actually a luxury, and I’m enjoying that now.

… It was already morning when I went out. Apparently, I didn’t even notice hunger, thoroughly absorbed in the books that I was reading. Oh dear! Riche’s walking time!

I greeted the old man who helped me in the beginning, and I handed him a few pieces of gold. Seems like I don’t really need all that money that I saved up to buy books.

「 Thank you very much, I will purchase some flowers and water with this. 」
Apparently, he wanted to prepare some good water for the spirits, because most of the water on this island is slightly salty.

「 I will bring water next time. 」
Yep, I’m definitely returning here.

I 【Teleport】back to my home.

「 Sorry Riche, I’m late. 」
Riche flew out of the room and ran towards me when I called him.

The weather has warmed a lot recently, but it is still cold during the early mornings. My house is located in a place that is warm even if it’s winter, though not on the level of Telmist. It’s just that snow still falls because we’re on top of the mountain. But then, Canum is a lot colder than here.

Riche is still lively as ever despite the cold, as expected of an ice spirit. He ran helter-skelter and sniffed the ground before returning to the mountain path that I frequent. Well, I know that it’s important for him to check his territory after all; besides, exercising is not the same as a simple stroll, I guess.

I haven’t toured Telmist yet, and I also want to see their silverwork. Maybe lace handkerchiefs are enough as souvenirs for Dinosso’s wife and daughter? Ah, but it’ll be bad if the tax collector saw them.

Consumable goodies such as food are safe, but it’s boring bringing the same stuff all the time.

I gathered some willow twigs while strolling because I remembered that Dinosso’s family uses them to weave baskets. They decorate them with thinly shaved chestnut bark, skillfully turning something so simple into a work of art. You can put some fruits in it and it could be a tabletop display. Madam is really good at detailed handiwork.

Let’s add some sweets to these and give it to them.

We returned to the house. I brushed Riche while petting him; his fur is soft and fluffy probably because he was still a puppy. I don’t really need to brush him since his fur doesn’t matte even without it, but then, this is also our bonding time.

Alright, my stomach is rumbling now.

I shucked some smallish oysters then washed them with salt water and set that aside. I make some rice porridge with water, kombu, sake and a dash of salt. Once it’s ready, I take out the kombu, then add the oysters and spinach, put the lid back on and turn off the fire.

Oysters can be eaten raw, so it’s enough even if it’s just warmed. I removed the kombu earlier, but I can just preserve it by boiling it in soy sauce.

Today’s breakfast is oyster congee. The saltiness is just right, and the taste is mild. I also enjoyed red turnip pickles and some tea after breakfast.

I wonder, did Ash and the others return by now?

——
T/N: ‘Uniformly shaved parchment’ sounded odd, so I searched the term, and this is the info that I found from Bookbinding and the Conservation of Book, A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology (https://cool.culturalheritage.org/don/dt/dt2487.html)

“Finally, the parchment is finished while still in a taut condition; the surface is smoothed by shaving it with a semi-circular (often semi-lunar) knife, and rubbing it with pumice. Despite this treatment, the flesh side can usually be distinguished from the grain side of an unsplit skin by its rougher texture and often darker color. In books the pages are usually arranged grain- to grain-side and flesh- to flesh-side in order to provide a more uniform appearance.”

Hmm. So that’s how it is. XD Nice to know. 🙂

MC lowkey missing Ash (and the others lol).


One Comment

  1. Thanks for the treat.

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